Poetry. This expansive, ambitious collection by Joe Pan further exemplifies his talent for blending genres and pushing formally experimental narratives and lyrics into a wild array of thought-provoking poetry. From the familial to the fantastical to the socially political, Pan's maximalist style doesn't miss much, earning this collection its place among the most anticipated books of 2019. Highlighted by "Ode to the MQ-9 Reaper," a long poem about drone warfare already taught in classrooms around the country�Operating Systems
approaches our complicated and shifting histories with empathy and an eye for the absurd.
"'I just discovered this form yesterday, ' Pan writes, earlier in the book, but it applies best to the sprawling formless form of this hulking, brilliant anthem, this 'Bohemian Rhapsody' of a poem. 'Ode to the MQ-9 Reaper'] goes on to become a way of addressing Pan's own younger self, a personified lost innocence, and the Reaper becomes a figure of national tragedy, a character really not so different from the tall hooded farmer for which it was named. While praising it as poetry, and Pan as a poet, I want to scream that 'Ode to the MQ-9 Reaper' is not just a poem�it's a memoir and an essay and a white paper about black hearts and black death. It's a sermon, and a polemic, and a treatise, and an ars poetica, and if you think I'm overselling it, then just go and read it, and see for yourself. I dare you."�JC Hallman, Brooklyn Rail
"It's uncomfortable to struggle with 'Ode to the MQ-9 Reaper's] ethical dilemmas. Pan reminds us we are complicit in the Reaper's exploits without shying away from the barriers to avoiding culpability...The collection's diversity is also a strength and most readers will find something to challenge or surprise them."�Eric Aldrich, Heavy Feather Review
About the Author
Joe Pan is the author of two collections of poetry, HICCUPS (Augury Books, 2015) and Autobiomythography & Gallery (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2007). He is the publisher and managing editor of Brooklyn Arts Press, serves as the poetry editor for the arts magazine Hyperallergic and small press editor for Boog City, and is the founder of the services- oriented activist group Brooklyn Artists Helping. His piece Ode to the MQ-9 Reaper, a hybrid work about drones, was excerpted and praised in The New York Times. In 2015 Joe participated in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Process Space artist residency program on Governors Island. Joe attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop, grew up along the Space Coast of Florida, and now lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.